Mayor hopeful Volesky proposes downtown plazaMitchell mayoral candidate Tara Volesky said a meeting she arranged recently with Rapid City landscape architect Randy Fischer confirmed her view that a $35 million renovation option for the Corn Palace is too expensive.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
Mitchell mayoral candidate Tara Volesky said a meeting she arranged recently with Rapid City landscape architect Randy Fischer confirmed her view that a $35 million renovation option for the Corn Palace is too expensive.
What Mitchell needs, Volesky said, is a downtown plaza south of the Corn Palace similar to the new Main Street Plaza in Rapid City.
“It boils down to whether or not the money is worth it, and it’s not,” she said of the proposed Corn Palace renovation and expansion.
Volesky is one of six candidates for mayor in the June 5 election. The other candidates are Ken Tracy, Roger Haley, Jerry Toomey, John Claggett and Becky Haslam.
A southern plaza, Volesky said, would be an active space that would be there for Mitchell residents and host events that would draw traffic downtown year-round. Ice skating could be added for winter months and fountains during warmer weather, she said, as is the case in Rapid City.
Volesky said she walked the perimeter of the Corn Palace recently with Fischer, the owner of Designworks Inc., which designed Rapid City’s plaza and a similar space in Brookings. Fischer photographed the exterior of the Corn Palace, reviewed concept drawings currently under consideration by the city and told Volesky he would do some drawings.
“He didn’t think a $30 million plan would be cost-effective for the city,” Volesky said. “He said we’d be better off getting a licensed landscape architect to draw up a plan and have it built by local contractors.”
Coincidentally, Mitchell Main Street & Beyond informed the City Council on Monday night that it is seeking bids for a downtown streetscape project. Volesky expressed her views on the subject in an interview conducted days ahead of the council meeting.
Rapid City’s Main Street Plaza cost $7 million — $3.5 million each from city and private contributions, Volesky said.
“A plaza would not be green space,” she said, “but an active, useable space. I think it would be a beautiful thing for Mitchell and the Corn Palace.”